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Postpartum nurses specialize in caring for patients after the birth has taken place. They're responsible for both the mother and the baby in their care and must make sure that they're well taken care of until discharge, which may take anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
Postpartum care is important because new mothers are at risk of serious and sometimes life-threatening health complications in the days and weeks after giving birth. Too many new moms have or even die from health problems that may be prevented by getting postpartum care. Postpartum checkups are important for any new mom.
Your body experiences many changes during pregnancy. After you have your baby, your care team keeps an eye on you as you recover from pregnancy. Having regular postpartum care is important because it allows us to watch for problems that may occur and to help you take care of your post-pregnancy body, which takes at least 6-8 weeks to heal after delivery, and longer if you had a difficult birth or certain pregnancy complications.
Because of hormonal changes, many women get a case of the blues after giving birth. But a type of more serious clinical depression, known as postpartum depression, occurs after 15% of births. Your provider asks you about your mood during postpartum visits and gives treatment recommendations if you are depressed. Be sure to tell us if you’re feeling sad, anxious, or angry, or if you are thinking of hurting yourself or your baby. Depression is a medical issue that can be successfully treated.
The postpartum period involves your moving through many changes, both emotionally and physically. You are also learning how to deal with all the changes needed with becoming a new mother. The postpartum period also involves you and your partner learning how to care for your newborn and learning how to function as a changed family unit. You need to take good care of yourself to rebuild your strength. You will need plenty of rest, good nutrition, and help during the first few weeks.
Your postpartum recovery won’t be just a few days. Fully recovering from pregnancy and childbirth can take months. While many women feel mostly recovered by 6-8 weeks, it may take longer than this to feel like yourself again. During this time, you may feel as though your body has turned against you. Try not to get frustrated. Remember that your body is not aware of your timelines and expectations. The best thing you can do for it is rest, eat well, and give yourself a break. During this time, your hormones also will be fluctuating. You may not be thinking clearly and will be more emotional. Again, give yourself time for this to pass. However, if at any time you think about hurting yourself or your baby, tell someone.
Although you might feel great when you return from the hospital, chances are that as your body heals you'll have at least a little discomfort. For instance, you may come home with a bruised perineum, stitches from an episiotomy or tear, a c-section incision, or hemorrhoids to contend with. Here are some things to have on hand to help ease your discomfort and make the postpartum period a little more bearable:
Pregnancy changes your body and it can take time to recover. Some women use a postpartum belly wrap after having a baby to help their muscles. It’s entirely up to your needs whether you should wear one or not. They are often recommended for c-section deliveries to help support the abdominal muscles after major surgery.
Studies show that wraps or binders might help with pain and healing after a Cesarean section. They might also help support your organs and muscles as they move back into place after having a baby.
You can wear a belly wrap for as long as you need to each day to feel comfortable. However, experts recommend that you only wear them for 2 to 12 weeks, since extended wear can have adverse effects.
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